Archive of ‘music’ category

If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere

Give or take a few days, this time three years ago, I was in New York City with my best friends. While I was studying in Connecticut, Anna, Jen, Vicky and Rob flew out to New York where I met them for a weekend. We then spent the rest of their holiday in New England, going to Boston and Providence and seeing a bit of Connecticut.

It was the best holiday, even though it wasn’t really a holiday for me, and I loved every minute of it. I’m so glad that I got to see New York while I was in the States, despite a severe lack of funds. I also got to go again when my friend Gemma bought me a fabulous birthday present: a trip to see Chicago on Broadway, which we saw in December, so I got to see Christmas in New York as well as autumn in New York (though it was still so warm that it was more like summer in New York).

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In honour of this auspicious anniversary, I have put together a New York themed playlist. These are a few of my favourite New York related songs.

The playlist can be found here on Spotify. Links to videos of the songs (for those who don’t use Spotify) can be found above.

This is the first time I have shared a playlist with you, let me know what you think, or what I have missed!

Top Ten ~ Solo Spice Girls Singles

Yesterday, inspired by having heard I Turn To You on the radio, followed by Mel C talking about her new album, I started thinking about the Spice Girls. I asked my friend Richard who his favourite solo Spice Girl was. He said Emma, because he loves Maybe, and then we got into a discussion that ended with me favourably comparing the Spice Girls with the Beatles. And getting away with it, I think.

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Anyway, so I got to thinking that there’s a blog post in all this. My ten favourite solo Spice Girls singles, in no particular order.

I Want You Back – Melanie B

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx1krWk-kFI&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

Mel B was the first Spice Girl to have a solo number one. and I helped her get it. I loved this when it first came out, which is odd, because I’ve never been a Missy Elliot fan. I still enjoy listening to it, and can just about sing every word. This is her only appearance in my top ten, Feels So Good also made it (even if the “We’re gonna get all soft and smoochy” bit at the beginning makes me want to hurt myself), but it wasn’t quite good enough.

What I Am – Emma Bunton featuring Tin Tin Out

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEOeClFSQ1o&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

I used to be quite the fan of Tin Tin Out, and this was a pretty decent collaboration. Emma’s voice really works with their style of music. Her look in the video is an obvious attempt to move away from Baby Spice – shirt open to show bra with nothing on her bottom half, though frankly it could have been a lot worse.

Out of Your Mind – True Steppers & Dane Bowers featuring Victoria Beckham

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf87MJcWZQI&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

I am breaking my self-imposed rule here, by including a song that featured a Spice Girl, as opposed to songs by them. And that’s simply because a) I love this song and b) I wanted each Spice Girl to be represented, and I wasn’t including Not Such an Innocent Girl. This is a firm favourite for a few reasons. Firstly, I actually quite enjoy listening to it. Secondly, I love Victoria Beckham. And thirdly, it reminds me of Sixth Form. My friend Dan used it on a video that I helped him make of a business course we went on.

Never Be the Same Again – Melanie C featuring Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klCXBkn0VGs&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

I love this song, purely and simply I enjoy listening to it. Having been looking into it to write this post though, I discovered that there is a school of thought that thinks it may have a lesbian theme to it, which if you listen to the lyrics, definitely makes sense. Allegedly though, it was written by Melanie C about Anthony Kiedis of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, after they had a brief relationship. He wrote a song about her too, called Emit Remmus, which featured on the album Californication. Anyway, my mum also loved this song. She was a bit of a Mel C fan on the quiet.

Bag It Up – Geri Halliwell

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PruP58FuYmM&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

One of the tweets that I missed out of the conversation up there was me replying to Richard’s assertion about Geri’s best song. I said that I was fond of both Mi Chico Latino and Lift Me Up. I’m fairly certain that I bought Mi Chico Latino on cassette. But then when it came to reminding myself of the songs for this post, I realised that it’s a bit rubbish, and actually Bag It Up is better.

We’re Not Gonna Sleep Tonight – Emma Bunton

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vhbQmOj–A&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

This isn’t a popular Emma Bunton single, in fact it’s one of her worst performing as far as the charts are concerned. But I really like it! For a start it’s refreshing that a modern pop song by a woman is about something other than a man. And I like the less than subtle Latin sounding undertones from someone who couldn’t be less Latin if she tried.

If That Were Me – Melanie C

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K_P6G0E7oE&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

When she started releasing solo songs, Mel C tried to go a bit punk; she released Goin’ Down, the video for which found her with blonde spiky hair and a tartan mini skirt. The short blonde hair survived into Never Be the Same Again (see above), but by the time this one came around, it was longer, though still blonde. These days she’s back to brunette, and much better for it. This is a bit of an odd song, because it is explicitly about homelessness, which seems like an odd choice for a pop song. But she was clearly using homelessness to talk about some of the problems she was having herself, so it sort of makes sense. And I do think she has a beautiful voice, that this shows off very well. Just ignore the line “I couldn’t live without my phone/But you don’t even have a home.” Because it’s a bit rubbish. As is the video.

Lift Me Up – Geri Halliwell

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVp9P1-fBy8&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

This was a tough one to decide on. I thought it was my favourite Geri song, and then I listened to it again, and I wasn’t sure. But I’m including it because I think I prefer it to Lift Me Up, and I know I prefer it to Scream if You Wanna Go Faster. I’m not in love with the sound of Geri’s voice, but I like the song. The video’s ridiculous though.

Maybe – Emma Bunton

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdW9oM6ZMME&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

This a firm favourite of Richard’s, and I’d actually forgotten how much I loved it until I listened to it again. It was when Emma was going through her 60s phase, and it totally works for her, both musically and stylistically.

I Turn To You – Melanie C

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsjKK_s_nyY&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

If I had to pick one, I think this would be my favourite Spice Girls solo single. The video is terrible, again, but the song is ace. I’m not even a fan of dance music, per se, and I know that this probably counts as very pop-py dance music, but still. Part of my love for it comes from its appearance in Bend it Like Beckham, but I think I probably loved it before that. Little known fact, when it reached number one, it made Mel C the first female solo artist to have a number one after topping the charts with a quintet, a quartet and a duo.

A special mention to When You’re Gone, which didn’t make the cut because Mel C features on it as a Bryan Adams song. But it’s awesome.

This post took me so much longer than I anticipated!

Mix Tape

Hello all

Today my CD from Sarah in Texas arrived, and I’ve been enjoying listening to it all afternoon! As I know that my CD for Sarah reached her earlier in the week, I am now going to share the playlist with you! I’ve uploaded it to 8 Track, so you can listen if you want.

1. Dance Tonight – Paul McCartney

2. Disco 2000 – Pulp

3. Here Comes Summer – Jerry Keller

4. Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

5. The Longest Time – The Overtones

6. Pumping on Your Stereo – Supergrass

7. Random Firl – Late of the Pier

8. Rapture – Blondie

9. Relator – Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johannson

10. Running on Sunshine – Jesus Jackson

11. Same Jeans – The View

12. Sing – Travis

13. Something to Talk About – Badly Drawn Boy

14. Starlight – Muse

15. Sweet Dreams – Bat for Lashes

16. Up All Night – Take That

Of course, I like all of these songs, and that’s why I chose them for Sarah. I really wanted to give her a taste of some British music she might not have heard before, so nearly all of them are British bands or artists. When she signed up for the mix swap on Where the Lovely Things Are, she said that she liked hearing old classics sung by new people, so I looked through my Live Lounge CDs and found Sweet Dreams, originally sung by The Eurythmics, performed by Bat for Lashes. Disco 2000 has it’s own allure for me, not only do I love the song (and Pulp), but it holds a special place in my heart, because it was performed every week at karaoke by a guy called, for many months, ‘Disco 2000 Dude’. As it turns out, his name is Terry.

Anyway, so I wrote Sarah a long letter (far too long, to be honest), explaining why I chose each of the tracks, and I got a tweet from her the other day telling me that she was loving each song! So that was nice – it was great to know that something I spent quite a bit of time thinking about had been received so well!

Sarah’s package that arrived today put mine to shame! She had designed a lovely cover for the CD case, as you can see from the photograph, and written me a little note. I can be a bit of a geek when it comes to lovely handwriting – this is just the way I wish I wrote! It’s very cool!

The music is great too, there are only two songs on there that I have heard before, all the rest are new to me, and it’s been great listening to them. My favourites so far are Dear California by Vanessa Carlton, The Pretender by Jackson Brown and Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae, but I honestly do love them all! Thanks so much Sarah!

This has been so much fun, I’m definitely excited to do it again! I’m off to look for some more swap projects I can take part in! Thanks to Mallory for setting it up and sorting it out!

Until next time

Jane loves music

Hello all
A few weeks ago, Mallory at Where the Lovely Things Are came up with the fabulous idea of doing a Mix CD Swap. I’m a long time fan of Where the Lovely Things Are, and when she announced this, and made it clear it was open to everyone, everywhere, I thought “I just have to get involved with that!” I love receiving post (especially international post), and I’m always up for hearing new music that I would otherwise probably not discover.
So I’ve been working on this CD for my partner, Sarah (her blog is here – she cooks and has DIY tutorials, amongst other things), for a while, but life has got in the way somewhat. I’m finishing it up right now, as I write, and so it will be winging its way to Sarah really soon! While I’ve been thinking about what music I can send to Sarah, I’ve been trying to discover some new music for me too, so I thought I’d tell you about some bands and songs that I’ve discovered over the last few days.
Louise and the Pins
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okxuZ5jUW7M]
Louise and the Pins are a three-piece band from London, and this video is their cover of Should I Stay or Should I Go. They are described by the Guardian as a “a synthesis of torch balladry, folk harmony, jaunty country and 50s pop.” Louise Hull, the lead singer, has a lovely, distinctive voice, and I’m enjoying listening to their debut single (out in September), Beauty Strange.
The Angels
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REeeucZtDY0]
Not exactly a new band, this one, as this song was first released in 1963! Liza at Length x Wit has also taken part in the Mix Swap, and she uploaded her playlist for everyone to take a listen to. She included this song, and I love it! I’m a bit of a sucker for the Sixties sound anyway, and this is such a fun song! The sound quality on the video is not the greatest, but you get the idea.
Black Cards
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNQ1lbkGaWI&ob=av2e]
I saw Black Cards at Hard Rock Calling in June, and I really enjoyed their performance (even if the guitarist was unnecessarily sweary). What I didn’t realise was that this is Pete Wentz’ new project – he is Black Cards’ bassist. Still, let’s not hold a Fall Out Ball connection against them, I rather like them.
None of these bands have made it onto the CD I’m making for Sarah (so no worries about spoilers if you are reading Sarah!). I want to try and introduce a regular ‘new music’ post on here (new to me, of course), if for no other reason than to remind me of good songs I’ve heard! Have you got any suggestions for me?
Until next time

Jane loves music

Hello all
I almost forgot about my Desert Island Discs series that I was doing. Oops! But I’m back, completely by accident, one week after the first post. So this is probably going to be a Monday post for the next seven weeks!
I was wondering what the most requested record is on Desert Island Discs, and after a wee bit of research, it would seem that Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony wins that prize. The most popular non-Classical song is Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the sort of person to dismiss classical music out of hand. People who do rather irritate me, in fact. Without bothering to listen to anything produced before about 1960, people seem to think that all classical music is boring, dull and completely irrelevant. Having said all that, I’m not going to pretend that there’s nothing I like more than to stick on a CD of Beethoven or Mozart, because frankly, it’s not true. There are some very famous classical pieces that are very appealing to me, Pachelbel’s Canon, for example. But are they records I would want to take to a desert island with me? Possibly not.
However, there is one piece of music, which, while not classical, is a piano piece, rather than a song. It’s called Kiss the Rain, by a composer called Yiruma. I honestly don’t remember how I came across it, but I am so glad I did! I found it on Spotify, and I think it’s a beautiful piece of music. I’m no musical expert (I’m a bit of a musicals expert, but that’s a different kettle of fish), but as is the case with most people, I know what I like. I don’t know what it is about this piece of music that I love so much, except that it’s delicate and beautiful, and romantic.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCSe66pWNmc]
So that’s disc number two, of eight. Join me next Monday for number three!
Until next time

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